Sunday of the Veneration of The Holy Cross
Rejoice Heavens and Earth and give thanks unto the Lord for through the Cross Joy has come into the World! It is mid lent and the Church Venerates the Holy and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord on this Sunday. It is a day of reckoning in our Lenten Journey to see where we have been and where we must go. This commemoration is linked to the historic event of the finding of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem by St. Helen, the mother of the emperor Constantine, on March 6th, 326 AD. The Synaxarion explains that this commemoration is celebrated on this Sunday, at the half-way point of the Great Fast, “with the purpose of providing refreshment, renewal, encouragement, and a vision of hope.” We must as pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem travel with the Lord toward his suffering, death, burial and resurrection. It is to hope and joy, yes joy, to which we must cling even though Christ’s passion is saddening, terrifying and exhausting to us. Hope and joy accompany us through our Lenten journey because we know that our God is victorious both now and forever and that His Cross is the weapon of victory. Hope and joy because Christ trampled down death by his death and he has raised up fallen Adam and he will raise us up. From the feast of the Holy Cross, we can see Pascha, yet there is more struggle for us; we shall struggle with the passions, the flesh, the world, and the evil ones. Let us venerate the Holy Cross of Christ on this great feast day with the Heavenly Host, all creation and one another and “Rejoice in the Lord,” and let us sign ourselves with the cross, pick up our crosses, deny ourselves and follow Christ to Jerusalem!